Whether flying abroad or driving an hour to the mountains, pregnant women should review their health insurance plans before leaving home to make sure they cover prenatal complications and delivery in foreign countries.
Another important consideration is the use of medication. Many medicines are considered unsafe during pregnancy. Keeping a list of acceptable medications in a carry-on bag or a purse can refresh a tired memory, thereby preventing accidents that could potentially harm the fetus.
Acetaminophen remains the top choice for general pain relief, while such medicine as diphenhydramine (Gravol and Dramamine) helps abate motion sickness. For general coughs, colds, and allergies, medications such as DM cough syrup and antihistamines are generally safest. It is important to check with a practitioner before taking any of these medications during pregnancy.
While on Your Trip
If the main reason for traveling is to take a vacation, the destination may afford new and exciting activities that prove tempting.
Swimming, walking, and hiking at a moderate pace (and on a moderate trail) are all acceptable. However, "Scuba diving would not be good because of the pressure changes," says Dr. Flynn. Another potentially dangerous sport is water-skiing, which can force water into the cervix. Dr. Flynn recommends avoiding long periods in the sun, "because of the potential to raise the woman's core temperature." The same danger exists in using saunas and hot tubs.
If you take the proper precautions, traveling during pregnancy can be an enjoyable experience. After all, you're sharing the journey with the little person who will soon become the center of your world. One day, you'll even be able to tell him all about the trip you took together to Cancun.